Lock out Tag out Steps | What is LOTO Procedure and Why it is Essential?

Want to know what is lock out Tag out Steps? and why it is essential in industries to protect workers from hazardous energy? In this guide, we will learn what are the Lockout Tagout procedures.

In manufacturing industries, different types of machines, equipment are used in the manufacturing process which helps to do the work fast, with safety, and with efficiency.

lock out Tag out Steps loto procedure

All machines require maintenance either during machine breakdown or as preventive maintenance of machine and equipment. To handover to the maintenance department, a safety work permit system needs to be followed as risks and hazards are associated with the equipment and can cause harm to humans while performing maintenance work.

In industries to various types of permits are used to create a safe working atmosphere like confined space entry, hot work permit, general work permit, electrical isolation permit and etc.

Among those, electrical isolation permits are used to isolate equipment or de-energize the machine or area if maintenance work of the machine or in the area needs to be conducted.

To avoid the risk, a safety permit system is followed and if the equipment uses an energy source then electrical isolation need to be done. Energy isolation or control hazardous energy helps to prevent harm due to unexpected energization of the equipment especially when the person performing maintenance task and duties. To have a proper energy isolation process, LOTO safety which is also referred as the Lockout Tagout procedure is used.

In this guide, we will learn what is LOTO safety procedure, the steps of Lockout Tagout procedure and the purpose of electrical isolation. Prior to getting into the article, let us understand what is LOTO procedure. So without wasting more time, let dive in to the guide.

What is LOTO Procedure

What is LOTO? : LOTO stands for Lockout Tagout and it is a procedure that is designed to protect employe while performing maintenance of equipment by unexpected re-energization or release of energy while performing maintenance work of the equipment or machine.

This LOTO is a written step of procedure and an administrative tool that safely isolates equipment from the source of energy by using a feeder or MCC breaker and tagged is affix so the equipment not gets re-energized by mistake also.

Note – In LOTO procedures, isolation of energy is considered by using a circuit breaker, and emergency switches are not included in LOTO procedure for energy isolation.

Six Steps of LOTO Safety Lock out Tag out Steps

LOTO i.e. lockout tagout safety procedure include six steps which are listed below. let us move to the steps of loto and learn each steps in detiails.

  1. Preparation of shutdown
  2. Shutdown of the equipment
  3. Isolation of energy
  4. Lockout/tagout
  5. Stored energy check
  6. Isolation verification and de-energization of the machine
  7. Restoration

1. Preparation of shutdown – (Lock out Tag out Steps)

This is the first step of LOTO where the production and maintenance department discuss the work that needed to be taken. It is important to identify the risk involved with hazardous energy in the task which is needed to be conducted hence in the preparation steps along with steps required to control the hazard. In this phase, the permit is being prepared by the production department.

2. Shutdown of equipment

The shutdown phase includes the execution of the preparation step. In this step, subjected equipment or the machine is being shut down or stoped and all the employees working in the section to be informed about the equipment which needs to be serviced.

3. Isolation

After the shutdown step, the next step is isolation in which the Lockout/Tagout procedure is executed, and the machine and equipment in which maintenance or preventive maintenance work needs to be taken are being isolated from the source of energy. The emergency stop button of the equipment is not considered for isolation of energy, it should be used but as an extra layer of safety, equipment needs to be shut through the MCC breaker or by a fuse.

4. Lockout Tagout

Lockout tagout padlocks

These are the important steps of the lockout and tagout safety procedure. Now the subjected equipment and machine is isolated from the energy source,  lock out and tag out machine in the next step. In this step, the authorized persons affix lockout and/or tagout devices to each energy-isolating device. This ensures that no other person can re-energize the equipment until the work is completed.

Here Padlock is applied to the energy-isolating device where the electrical department, maintenance department and production department, and safety department apply lock and key is to be with the authorized person only. Until the work in not completed and all the locks are not unlocked, equipment can’t be re-energized.

If the equipment can’t be lockout, tag out needs to be done which includes the name of the authorized person who performs the Tagout procedure. Not only the source of energy, Do not operate, do not start or do not open tag should be applied on the equipment for awareness that the equipment is under maintenance.

5. Stored energy check

In the isolation step, we had isolated the equipment from the energy source. Although the equipment disconnected, there is still chance that some energy is there in the form of stored energy. Stored energy is also known as residual energy which is there in form of static energy, air pressure, chemical gas. Hense to avoid accidents from the potentially hazardous stored or residual energy, it should be relieved, equipment needs to be degassed or depressurized to make it non-hazardous.

6. Isolation verification

No work is considers completed until it is verified and the isolation verification steps are all about checking verification. In this step, the concern authorized person from production, as well as the maintenance person, verify that the equipment is perfectly isolated from the energy source through the MCC circuit breaker.

7. Restoration

This is the last step in which when the work is completed and the maintenance department hand over the equipment, the completion of work is being verified by the production department. After verifying, an authorized person from the maintenance department makes sure is all the tools are removed, equipment is clean, temporary grounding is removed and equipment guarding is installed. Shif in-charge of the production department takes the handover of equipment and check from the equipment and then proceed for the re-energizing of the equipment/machine.

What is LOTOTO?

As technology and safety procedure are upgrading, LOTO procedures also got updated and become LOTOTO. This LOTOTO stands for Lockout Tagout Tryout. This try-out is an additional layer of safety for the working personnel in which after lockout and tagout, verification is done.

What are the OSHA requirements for lockout tagout Procedure?

  • All the person working in the area and their operating person of the area are needed to be aware about the work which is doing to be conducted.
  • Do not start or open, such type of tag to be applied ar the Energy source i.e. switch.
  • Maintenance person should ensure whether the push emergency button is activated prior to start working.
  • An un-authorized person should not be allowed in the area where the work is being conducted to avoid any miss-operation

LockOut TagOut Safety Tips

  1. All the written steps to be followed without skipping it.
  2. The person who applies lock and tag should only remove it as per the procedure.
  3. All the personnel involving in the LOTO steps should be trained and should have completed lockout Tagout training module.
  4. Don’t neglect any equipment or exclude from LOTO i.e. energy isolation procedure.
  5. Padlocks used for LOTO should not be used for other activities in the plant.

FAQ (lock out tag out Steps)

1. When is lockout tagout required?

Ans – When the equipment is to be serviced, or maintenance work needs to be carried out and it requires energy source, in that case lockout tagout required

2. Is lock out tagout training is necessary?

Ans – Yes, lock out tagout training is compulsory for all the personnel involved in the LOTO procedure and only those people should be allowed to take part in the system.

3. What is hazardous energy

Ans – Energies are of many types like heat, chemical, mechanical, electricity, pneumatic, or many more which have the potential to harm a person are called hazardous energy. To avoid damage from hazardous energy, Control of┬áHazardous Energy procedures are followed to protect workers from hazardous energy.

4. Personal Protective Equipment Is Still to use in LOTO

Ans – LOTO or LOTOTO is a safety tool that helps to reduce the risk from hazardous energy but it is not foolproof. PPE needs to be used to have additional safety.

5. What is a safety padlock?

Ans – A safety padlock is used to safeguard the isolation device which ensures that no other person can re-energize the equipment without the key.

6. What is hasp lockout or safety hasp?

Ans – Safety hasp is a metallic plate where multiple padlocks can be applied and secure the energy source.

7. Who can remove a lockout tagout?

Ans – The person who had applied the padlock or the authorized person can remove a lockout tagout.

Source Control of hazardous energy

Wrapping Up

Hope this article on LOTO and the six steps of LOTO safety procedure is helpful for you and next time you find the situation to apply to Lock out Tag out steps you must follow the procedure. If you have any doubt regarding osha lockout tagout topic then feel free to use the comment section and in case you have any suggestions for us the please let us know in the comment section.

We had posted detailed guides on industrial safety like Types of fire extinguishers Uses so if you are interested in learning more about industrial safety then do check out our blog. Apart from workplace safety, we also cover chemical engineering articles and explain concepts in detail with an example. Follow us for more details and in case you want us to cover any specific topic then do suggest us.

Me - Founder of Chemical Tweak - A Chemical Engineer by profession and a part-time self-trained technology blogger.

1 thought on “Lock out Tag out Steps | What is LOTO Procedure and Why it is Essential?”

  1. Fire and safety are crucial aspects of maintaining a safe environment. It involves practices, equipment, and protocols designed to prevent and respond to fires and other emergencies, ensuring the well-being of people and property. If you have specific questions or need information on fire and safety topics.


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